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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Learn to say NO , Learn to be harsh

Doddappa & General Dyer

This is one of the several discussions or talks that I had with my Doddappa (Uncle). It was during and after supper (during mine and after his.. though we started together). He just started with the JalianWala Bagh incident which happened before Indian Independence. Just to recall, a large number of Sikhs had gathered in this place JalianWala Bagh for a religious meeting (from what I know). At that time General Dyer had issued a notice that no public meetings could be held, as it was a sign of freedom struggle and the British always wanted to avoid a full fledged opposition to their rule. When General Dyer became aware of this religious meeting he came with a troop of gunmen and positioned them behind the Sikhs covering the only the entrance to the enclosed JalianWala Bagh ground where they had assembled. He gave a warning telling the people there to clear before his countdown ends. The Sikhs did not budge and the General ordered the troops to open fire on the people. He killed almost all of the Sikhs present there. Some say the number was hundreds and some say it was thousands. Whatever it is, I am pretty sure it was big number.

There was a lot of opposition and revolt after this incidence in a lot of places in India. Also there was a great big opposition in England also, about the action of General Dyer. So the British, fair in governance as they few call them, formed a committee to investigate the matter. The committee had Indian(s) too.

It started with the General Dyer being questioned. When he was asked for a reason to take in a troop of gunmen inside that enclosed area, he said "The entrance was too small for my tanker/automated firearm weapon to move in. Thats why I had to finish the job with few gunmen". This might enrage the Indians, but there is a lesson to be learnt here.

Never in the interrogation did he confess that he did a mistake. Never was he sorry that he killed so many people. Not even through out his life. Any time he was asked about that incident he said "I was just protecting the queen. I was following my orders. I just did my duty". Never did he regret that action of his and he always considered that he had discharged his duty properly.

Each one of us will face a similar scenario in our careers. We will come across situations when we are supposed to make harsh statements or we receive such harsh comments. In either cases, it that was the need of the hour then we should never regret about the situation. Sometime a senior of ours may scold us or make certain negative remarks. If those are justified then all that he has done is his job. He would have failed in his duties if he had not done that. This justification is again a very difficult thing. Not all would be ready to accept any such thing told. The very first reaction would be think that its wrong. But a proper thinking with a cool mind will sort out the things.

On the other hand there might be a situation when we are supposed to speak like that or make certain hard decisions. If that is in the best interest of all then we should never hesitate to do it. The person at the receiving end may consider us to be rude, but we know we are not. All that we have done is dischared our duties. This is the harder part. And this is what we have to learn from the above mentioned incident in the life of General Dyer.

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